PDFs are common fare in our everyday work dealings, be it simple documents like whitepapers, reports, quotations, or invoices.

Usually we don’t encounter any bandwidth difficulties with such documents, which are usually under 1MB and e-mail friendly. But what happens when you have a graphic-intensive PDF that you would like to send to your client or colleague for viewing?

These documents may be 10MB and above – if you emailed it to your recipient, they might pull a long face or tell you off for clogging up their inbox.

Here is our favourite way to put PDFs on an instant diet via Acrobat Professional 8.0 – without too much of image quality loss. (Note that you will need Adobe Acrobat Professional 5.0 at least)

Step One
Open the PDF in Acrobat Pro and then go to File > Print

Step Two
In the Print dialog, select your printer as Adobe Acrobat or PDF or Distiller etc (may vary on your computer). Click Print.

Step Three
You will be prompted to do a ‘Save As’…Enter the name and location you want the optimised PDF to end up. Click ‘Ok’ and enjoy your ‘skinnified’ PDF.

More Options
You can also reduce the file size by going to Document > Reduce file size

The effectiveness of this method varies. Some PDFs contain scanned images, JPGs, vector graphics etc, so the percentage of optimisation is different. We’ve shrunk a 10MB PDF to a mere 2MB before.

If you do not have Acrobat Professional, you can google and purchase PDF Optimisers from other developers.

If you have any better methods of shrinking PDFs, do share them in the comments. 🙂